Everybody’s favorite anthem protester is filing suit against the National Football League. Colin Kaepernick is charging that the reason he doesn’t have a job as a quarterback is that the NFL owners are colluding to “to deprive Mr. Kaepernick of employment rights in retaliation for Mr. Kaepernick’s leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice,” according to the lawsuit.
Last season, Kaepernick played with the San Francisco 49ers. A few games into the season he began kneeling during the National Anthem to supposedly protest racial injustice and police brutality. This created a backlash among fans, and the NFL’s television ratings dropped as a result.
Going into this season, Kaepernick offered little value to an NFL team as he had been a dismal quarterback the last few seasons. As it became more and more clear that no team would sign him, he said he would no longer kneel during the National Anthem because he “no longer wants his method of protest to detract from the positive change he believes has been created.” That may have been the only laughable moment in this pathetic saga.
Until now. Kaepernick’s lawsuit is a joke, according to Michael Elkins, an employment law attorney with Bryant Miller Olive. Speaking to the Daily News, Elkins said,
I think filing the grievance is a mistake. Kaepernick has a really tough road to hoe to make this case out. Really tough. Unless he comes up with some smoking-gun email or text message, which isn’t going to exist because these owners are smart people, it’s going to be very tough. [Kaepernick has to show that two or more teams] got together and agreed not to sign him because of his political viewpoint. He’s going to need some direct evidence of that.
But the owners didn’t need to conspire to keep Kaepernick out of the NFL. They merely had to use common sense. At best, Kaepernick would be a backup quarterback, and as I wrote at the beginning of the NFL season:
…it’s pretty simple why Kaepernick isn’t on a team. No fan goes to an NFL game or watches on television because of the backup quarterback. So if you are an NFL team owner, you realize that Kaepernick has no value to you insofar as attracting fans if you sign him as a backup quarterback. However, his past antics might very well drive some fans away. And any NFL owner who can rub two brain cells together knows that driving fans away means driving dollars away.
Finally, at the Daily Beast Robert Silverman laments that Kaepernick’s NLF career is over. “He’s done. Period,” writes Silverman.
Let’s hope so.